Forced to Buy Health Insurance?

H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act, includes this little gem:

Section 501 will amend Part VIII of subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. If a taxpayer is not enrolled in a Health Insurance Exchange qualified health benefits plan at any time during the taxable year, then he will be charged “a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) [of the Internal Revenue Code] with respect to the taxpayer” [Sec. 501(a), amendment to Part VIII, subchapter A, chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code]. To see what 6012(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code is, click here .

Maybe it’s just me, but…it sounds dangerously “totalitarian” that my government thinks it has the right to tell me what I must buy – whether it’s a product or a service, like insurance, when it affects only me. According the US Census Bureau, 47 million Americans are uninsured; but many of those folks actually are eligible for health insurance but don’t know it through Medicaid or SCHIP and many of those folks actually choose not to have health insurance even though they can afford it. The American Spectator wrote that a Blue Cross Blue Shield study estimated that the actual number of uninsured Americans is really closer to 8.2 million; click here to see the article. More recently, the Wall Street Journal also publish an article questioning the number of uninsured Americans; click here to read the article.

Yes, we need to help those folks who truly can’t afford health insurance, but H.R. 3962 is not the answer since it includes legislation such as taxing people  (substitute the word “fine”) who don’t want to have health insurance for whatever reason; and taxing people who don’t to participate in a health plan that uses it’s conglomerate funds to pay for services that the person has moral or religious objections to.